I am a stockpile shopper. I hate above all else to start making something and realize that I am out of one ingredient on the list! I purchase things on sale and store them until we need them. Now, I'm not one of those hoarders that you see on tv! I don't have 100 shampoo bottles or enough cereal to feed us for ten years in my pantry. I usually only keep a few extras because I have done this enough to know the sales cycles. Retailers put items on sale in about a six to eight week cycle or a seasonal cycle. For instance, facial tissue usually goes on special during the late fall/early winter, so I will buy ten to twelve boxes to get us through until they go on special again. Cereal is about on a six week cycle so I only need enough to get us through six weeks until the coupons and specials are on again.
During the month of January, I usually go on a 'don't buy anything unless I really need it or can get it almost free' diet. I like to try to save as much as possible since we just finished the Christmas season. Our property taxes are also due in December so after I've traveled to Bethlehem to pay the taxes, paid for all the Christmas gifts, and all the other expenses that December brings, I feel that I need to be extra frugal. Plus, in Oklahoma, I never know how the weather will be so staying home is a good thing!
I made my menu plan this month using things I already have in the pantry and freezer. I download and print my menu plans from this website. http://moneysavingmom.com/downloads/meal-menu-planners
It has a monthly planner that I like. It's blank so I just fill in the month and what I'm planning to have each night for dinner.
This week looks like this: Sunday lunch - pot roast, potatoes, carrots, green beans; dinner - homemade pizzas; Monday - shrimp lingune and salad; Tuesday - potato soup, homemade bread; Wednesday - roast beef hash(leftover pot roast), apple salad; Thursday - fish tacos, spanish rice, lettuce/tomato salad; Friday - cornbread topped chili casserole; Saturday - baked chicken and stuffing, broccoli.
The only thing I have to buy for this week is some lettuce and tomatoes for the salad. I made two weeks worth of menus using just what we had in the pantry and I still have a few meals left for the third week.
January is looking like a good frugal start for 2011!